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I Know Where You Were Last Summer: London’s public bike data is telling everyone where you’ve been []

This article is about a publicly available dataset of bicycle journey data that contains enough information to track the movements of individual cyclists across London, for a six month period just over a year ago.

I’ll also explore how this dataset could be linked with other datasets to identify the actual people who made each of these journeys, and the privacy concerns this kind of linking raises.

It probably won’t surprise you to learn that there is a publicly available Transport For London dataset that contains records of bike journeys for London’s bicycle hire scheme. What may surprise you is that this record includes unique customer identifiers, as well as the location and date/time for the start and end of each journey. The public dataset currently covers a period of six months between 2012 and 2013.

What are the consequences of this? It means that someone who has access to the data can extract and analyse the journeys made by individual cyclists within London during that time, and with a little effort, it’s possible to find the actual people who have made the journeys.

via The Variable Tree: I Know Where You Were Last Summer: London’s public bike data is telling everyone where you’ve been.

Robert Skidelsky revisits the Luddites’ claim that automation depresses real wages. []

Robert Skidelsky revisits the Luddites' claim that automation depresses real wages. - Project Syndicate

The Luddites’ rampage was at its height in 1811-12. An alarmed government sent in more troops to garrison the disturbed areas than were then available to Wellington in the Peninsular War against Napoleon. More than a hundred Luddites were hanged or transported to Australia. These measures restored peace. The machines won: the Luddites are a footnote in the history of the Industrial Revolution.

Historians tell us that the Luddites were victims of a temporary conjuncture of rising prices and falling wages that threatened them with starvation in a society with minimal welfare provision. The Luddites, however, blamed their misfortune on the machines themselves.

via Robert Skidelsky revisits the Luddites’ claim that automation depresses real wages. – Project Syndicate.

BBC Radio 4 Programmes – Material World, 19/04/2012

BBC - BBC Radio 4 Programmes - Material World, 19/04/2012

BBC - BBC Radio 4 Programmes - Material World, 19/04/2012

BBC - BBC Radio 4 Programmes - Material World, 19/04/2012

This week, new research number crunching millions of bits of data on breast cancer has allowed scientists to reclassify the disease into 10 different subtypes. They say this is a huge break though which will lead to new treatments and improve outcomes for women with the disease. The lead author of the Cancer Research UK study Carlos Caldas explains its impact.

The maths of politics. Stand up Mathematician Matt Parker and professor of theoretical physics Andrea Rapisarda look at the role mathematics plays in elections and the way politicians behave. Andrea argues political decisions would be improved if politicians were selected at random rather than elected, but Matt sees the mathematical flaw in electoral systems, which he likens to rolling a dice – one where the voters hardly ever get the outcome they wish for.

Its 40 years since British scientist Godfrey Hounsfield invented the CT scan. This multilayered use of x ray imagery has revolutionised the diagnosis of internal health problems and is used worldwide. We speak to Liz Beckmann, one of Godfrey Hounsfield’s former colleagues and the co author of a new book on his life and work, out this week; ‘Godfrey Hounsfield: Intuitive Genius of CT’

via BBC – BBC Radio 4 Programmes – Material World, 19/04/2012.

Fruit and vegetable consumption by poorer families falls 30%, figures show | Society | The Guardian

The average UK household bought about four portions of fruit and vegetables a day at the end of 2010, while households in the lowest tenth of incomes were buying only 2.7 portions, figures by Defra show. Photograph: Cymru/Alamy

Lower income families in the UK have cut their consumption of fruit and vegetables by nearly a third in the wake of the recession and rising food prices, to just over half of the five-a-day portions that the government recommends for a healthy diet.

Un ménage moyen au Royaume-Uni a acheté environ quatre portions de fruits et légumes par jour à la fin de 2010, tandis que les ménages aux revenus des 10% les plus bas en ont seulement acheté 2,7 portions, ce que montrent les chiffres par le Defra.

Familles à faible revenu au Royaume-Uni ont réduit leur consommation de fruits et légumes de près d’un tiers dans le sillage de la récession et hausse des prix alimentaires, à un peu plus de la moitié des portions de cinq-par-jour que le gouvernement recommande pour une alimentation saine.

via Fruit and vegetable consumption by poorer families falls 30%, figures show | Society | The Guardian.

Daily chart: Winners and losers | The Economist

AS MANY rich economies face recession this year, it is interesting to compare how output per person has changed in the world’s big economies since 2007, just before the financial crisis hit. According to the Economist Intelligence Unit’s forecasts, people in Britain, America, France and Japan will be less well-off in 2012 than they were in 2007. In Britain, real GDP per person will drop by more than 5% compared with its pre-crisis level. Germany and the BRIC countries are doing better. India’s real output per person is forecast to be 34% higher this year than it was in 2007; the increase in China will be over 50%.

COMME BEAUCOUP d’économies riches font face à une  cette année, il est intéressant de comparer la façon dont la production par personne a changé dans les grandes économies du monde depuis 2007, juste avant la crise financière. Selon les prévisions de l’Economist Intelligence Unit, les gens en Grande-Bretagne, l’Amérique, la France et le Japon seront moins bien lotis en 2012 qu’ils ne l’étaient en 2007. En Grande-Bretagne, le PIB réel par personne diminuera de plus de 5% par rapport à son niveau d’avant crise. L’Allemagne et les pays BRIC se portent mieux.La production réelle de l’Inde par personne est prévu à 34% de pluscette année qu’il ne l’était en 2007; l’augmentation de la Chine sera de plus de 50%.

via Daily chart: Winners and losers | The Economist.

Cut the working week to a maximum of 20 hours, urge top economists | Society | The Observer


Britain is struggling to shrug off the credit crisis; overworked parents are stricken with guilt about barely seeing their offspring; carbon dioxide is belching into the atmosphere from our power-hungry offices and homes. In London on Wednesday, experts will gather to offer a novel solution to all of these problems at once: a shorter working week.

Cut the working week to a maximum of 20 hours, urge top economists | Society | The Observer.

Computer that can read promises cancer breakthroughs – Telegraph

Called CRAB, the system is able to trawl through millions of peer-reviewed articles for clues to the causes of tumours. Already, it has uncovered a potential reason why some chemicals induce pancreatic cancer only in men.

CRAB is the latest implementation of a rapidly-emerging form of artificial intelligence called natural language processing, which is also used in the Siri personal assistant software in the iPhone 4S. It allows computers to read texts and derive meaning from them, despite their complexity and abiguities, as humans do.

The system will first be used to assess the risk that new chemicals could cause cancer.

Appelé CRABE le système est capable de naviguer parmi des millions d’articles évalués par des indices sur les causes des tumeurs. Déjà, il a découvert une raison potentielle pourquoi certains produits chimiques induisent un cancer du pancréas chez les hommes.
CRABE est la dernière application d’une forme rapide et émergence de l’intelligence artificielle appelée traitement du langage naturel, qui est également utilisé dans le logiciel Siri l’assistant personnel de l’iPhone 4S. Il permet aux ordinateurs de lire des textes et comprendre la signification de ces dernières, malgré leur complexité et abiguities, a l’instar les humains.
Le système sera d’abord utilisé pour évaluer le risque que les nouveaux produits chimiques d’engendrer un cancer.

via Computer that can read promises cancer breakthroughs – Telegraph.

BBC News – Return to Levittown: America’s first suburb reaches 60



Almost 60 years ago, a planned community embodied the hopes and prosperity of America. Now, it represents a more realistic picture of the American experience. The BBC investigates Levittown, Pennsylvania, as part of a year-long series.

In 1960, BBC journalist Ludovic Kennedy travelled to Levittown, Pennsylvania in advance of the Nixon-Kennedy election. Reporting for Panorama, Kennedy’s on-the-scene accounts provided an ideal perspective from which to measure the concerns of a fast-changing nation.

Il ya près de 60 ans, une communauté planifiée incarna les espoirs et la prospérité de l’Amérique. Maintenant, elle représente une image plus réaliste de l’expérience américaine. La BBC enquête sur Levittown, Pennsylvanie, dans le cadre d’une série qui s’étale sur toute une année.

En 1960, un journaliste de la BBC, Ludovic Kennedy se rendit à LevittownPennsylvanie en prévision de l’élection de Nixon-Kennedy. Travaillant pour PanoramaKennedy effectua un compte rendu détaillé et fournit une perspective idéale pour mesurer les préoccupations d’une nation en pleine mutation alors.

via BBC News – Return to Levittown: America’s first suburb reaches 60.

BBC – BBC Radio 4 Programmes – Click On, Series 9, Episode 5


New digital billboards are about to appear on our streets which will be able to predict the type of adverts that myabe of interest to us. Simon finds out whether they will ever reach the technical sophistication of those featured in the film, Minority Report.


Studies have found that Twitter is a good gauge of mood. Hedge funds are using this to make money. By analysing Twitter feeds they are able to predict whether the market will move up or down. Simon meets Professor Johan Bollan the man behind this technology.


With the explosion of touch screen and keyboards for smart phones there is a revolution in this area of technology. Simon speaks to Dr Ben Medlock who has built an app which personalises predictive text for all of our digital devices.


Researchers at Imperial College have been working on building digital devices from bacteria and DNA. The hope is that these could swim inside our arteries and detect things like the build up of plaque or even make sensors that detect and destroy cancer cells.


Being good at sport is often about predicting what you’re opponent is going to do next. At Edinburgh University the school of informatics have been grappling with this problem but with an added twist. They have been developing a robotic football team to take part in the Robo world cup next year.

De nouveaux panneaux d’affichage numériques sont sur le point d’apparaître dans nos rues, qui seront en mesure de prédire le type d’annonces qui pourraient avoir un intérêt pour nous. Simon découvre cependant qu’ils n’atteindront jamais la sophistication technique de ceux qui sont présentés dans le film Minority Report,.

TWITTER utilisée pour prédire la MARCHÉS
Des études ont montré que Twitter est un bon indicateur de l’humeur. Les hedge funds l’utilisent pour faire de l’argent. En analysant les flux Twitter, ils sont en mesure de prédire si le marché va monter ou descendre. Simon s’entretient avec le professeur JohanBollan l’homme derrière cette technologie.

Saisie prédictive - LE NEXT LEVEL
Avec l’explosion de l’écran tactile et du clavier pour les téléphones intelligents il ya une révolution dans ce domaine de la technologie. Simon parle à Dr Ben Medlock qui a construit une application qui personnalise le texte prédictif pour l’ensemble de nos appareils numériques.

Des chercheurs de l’Imperial College ont travaillé sur le renforcement des dispositifs numériques de la bactérie et l’ADN. L’espoir est que ceux-ci pourraient baigner l’intérieur de nos artères et détecter des choses comme l’accumulation de plaque ou même faire des capteurs qui détectent et détruisent les cellules cancéreuses.

Être bon en sport est souvent à propos de prédire ce que vous êtes adversaire vafaire ensuite. À l’Université d’Edimbourg de l’école de l’informatique ont été aux prises avec ce problème, mais avec un élément supplémentaire. Ils ont mis au pointune équipe de football robotisée à prendre part à la Coupe du monde l’année prochaine Robo.

via BBC – BBC Radio 4 Programmes – Click On, Series 9, Episode 5.

Women look away now: you are working for free |



We often hear about the advantages of trade with emerging powers like India, China and Brazil.

But to put things into perspective, if we fully used the skills and qualifications of women who are currently out of work, it could deliver economic benefits of £15bn to £21bn per year. That’s more than double the value of all our annual exports to China.

If women started businesses at the same rate as men, there would be an additional 150,000 extra start-ups each year in the UK.

And if the UK had the same level of female entrepreneurship as the US, there would be approximately 600,000 extra women-owned businesses, contributing an extra £42bn to the economy.

Nous entendons souvent parler des avantages du commerce avec les puissances émergentes comme l’Inde, la Chine et le Brésil.

Mais pour mettre les choses en perspective, si nous utilisions pleinement les compétences et les qualifications des femmes qui sont actuellement sans travail, il pourrait offrir des avantages économiques de 15 milliards £ à £ 21 milliards par an.C’est plus du double de la valeur de l’ensemble de nos exportations annuelles vers la Chine.

Si les femmes créaient des entreprises au même taux que les hommes, il y aurait environ 150.000 start-up supplémentaires chaque année au Royaume-Uni.

Et si le Royaume-Uni avait le même niveau d’entrepreneuriat féminin que les Etats-Unis, il y aurait environ 600 000 femmes propriétaires d’entreprises supplémentaires, contribuant ainsi un supplément de £ 42 milliards à l’économie.

via Women look away now: you are working for free | Business |

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